Side Table, White Oak and Cherry

  • Advertise with us
Project by JohnMcClure posted 12-15-2018 05:05 PM 1477 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve long needed a side table for the recliner, and finally developed a design I was happy with. Very challenging to lay out and build, because there are no straight lines and no 90 degree angles to reference from.

Steam bending would have been the ideal way to form these legs, but I had some very wide 4/4 cherry boards around and no steam-bending equipment, so I used what I had:

Some geometric truth here: each leg is exactly one-quarter of a circle.

Spokeshave to round over the legs. Couldn’t use the RT, because the grain reverses in the bend. Careful spokeshaving avoids the tearout problem, but I think a router would have destroyed the legs.

Layout for the center support, leg notches, and tabletop mortises was difficult. Compass and straightedge were used to locate points.

Meanwhile, got some 4/4 X 4” QSWO (or what passes for QS at my local hardwood dealer), planed it down and glued up a panel:

Planed it flat and cut out a circle:

Laid out mortises using the most high-tech compass you’ve ever seen:

Flatpack, anyone?

Glued together with liquid hide glue, so I can repair if needed or replace the top (thinking glass, someday, over a small-diameter sub-top).
Finish: Three coats or so of Watco natural danish oil; then a few coats of wiping varnish on the top; then paste wax on the top.

Oh, and here’s the prototype I made when refining the design:

Thanks for looking!

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

10 comments so far

View jeffswildwood's profile


4909 posts in 3097 days

#1 posted 12-15-2018 05:11 PM

Remarkable John! I really like all about it. The shape, the size and joinery. The only problem is you need to make that young man a chair so he can get off that paint bucket! LOL Wonderful job buddy!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View therealSteveN's profile


8009 posts in 1694 days

#2 posted 12-15-2018 05:27 PM

John, you appear to be a lot younger than I would have imagined. When did you take up woodworking? 3 months??

JK, it’s a great table. My Mom had one that was similar in construction in Mahog, from way back.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View awsum55's profile


1023 posts in 1628 days

#3 posted 12-15-2018 05:45 PM

Very nice looking project. But if you paid for QSWO, I don’t see any flecks/rays at all, what does their rift sawn oak look like?

-- John D, OP, KS

View JohnMcClure's profile


1287 posts in 1760 days

#4 posted 12-15-2018 05:54 PM

John D, I couldn’t agree more. I believe all the good stuff had been cleaned out before I arrived to pick lumber that day. But their definition of “quartersawn” appears to be “No cathedral patterns”.
In fact, the abscence of rays alarmed me, and with the end grain painted I couldn’t see how rift-sawn it really was, so I asked one of the employees if perhaps this was red oak mislabeled. His reply? “No, red oak has those V-shaped patterns in the grain and white oak has straight grain like this.”
This disappointment is why I used the reversible hide glue – I’m on the lookout for a top with more character.

Very nice looking project. But if you paid for QSWO, I don t see any flecks/rays at all, what does their rift sawn oak look like?

- awsum55

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8536 posts in 1832 days

#5 posted 12-15-2018 07:16 PM

a very nice table John looks like the little man likes the prototype very well GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View oldrivers's profile


2590 posts in 2686 days

#6 posted 12-15-2018 08:17 PM

Nice work. I kill the building photos.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View EarlS's profile


4555 posts in 3468 days

#7 posted 12-15-2018 11:05 PM

John – great looking table. The curved legs and top immediately catch your eye.

Good to see you made a prototype so your shop helper has a spot to eat.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View swirt's profile


6277 posts in 4092 days

#8 posted 12-16-2018 02:39 AM

A very clever design. I like the look too.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Ivan's profile


16848 posts in 3987 days

#9 posted 12-16-2018 08:02 AM

Very clever made legs set.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dust_Maker's profile


66 posts in 3441 days

#10 posted 12-19-2018 05:18 PM

You did a good job bringing an elegant idea into a beautiful form. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jonathan 2Cor. 4:6

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics